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Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema and Silent Feminists: America's First Women Directors

William G. McGowan Theater
Washington, DC

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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In the days before movies could talk, silent films spoke clearly of sexual politics, and in Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema, historian and writer Kay Sloan has assembled rare and wonderful footage that opens a historic window onto how women’s suffrage was represented in early American cinema. (2003; 35 minutes.)  

Using film clips, rare photos, and interviews with survivors of the era, The Silent Feminists rediscovers the work of America`s pioneering women directors, whose achievements are often overlooked in favor of those of their male counterparts. Co-directed by Anthony Slide, whom Lillian Gish called "our preeminent historian of silent film," this groundbreaking work pays fond tribute to the more than 30 women directors who contributed much to the art and craft of movie-making. (2008; 45 minutes.)

This program is presented in conjunction with our exhibition: Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY®, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support for National Outreach and Programs provided by Denise Gwyn Ferguson, BMO Financial Group, Hearst Foundations, Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, FedEx, Bernstein Family Foundation, and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay-Hartog Levin (Ret.).

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.